Facebook Responds To Fake News: ‘Committed’ To Fixing Epidemic

Facebook is serious about remedying the fake news epidemic that’s been a hot-button topic surrounding the election and its aftermath. The company isn’t taking it lightly, as they’re set to fight back.

Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Newsfeed Vice President, released a statement on what they’re doing to counteract the issue.

Obviously, it’s unrealistic to expect anywhere close to total truth everyone on the platform, but they want to start the eradication of the most nefarious variety.

“We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully,” said Mosseri. “We’ve focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations.”

The first prong of the attack is to make it easier for users to report fake news.

“We’re testing several ways to make it easier to report a hoax if you see one on Facebook, which you can do by clicking the upper right hand corner of a post,” said Mosseri. “We’ve relied heavily on our community for help on this issue, and this can help us detect more fake news.”

Outside of just the help for the regular users on Facebook, they’re utilizing third party fact checkers that can dispute, and have those disputes be seen with the link. Furthermore, if you’re to share the story, you’ll have one last exit ramp in which Facebook reminds you that facts have been disputed and asks if you really want to share it.

“We’ve started a program to work with third-party fact checking organizations that are signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles,” said Mosseri. “We’ll use the reports from our community, along with other signals, to send stories to these organizations. If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why.”

Lastly, because everything always comes back to the bottom line, Facebook will be hitting their wallets as they do their best to eliminate any financial incentive for anyone to have fake news.

“On the buying side we’ve eliminated the ability to spoof domains, which will reduce the prevalence of sites that pretend to be real publications,” said Mosseri. “On the publisher side, we are analyzing publisher sites to detect where policy enforcement actions might be necessary.”

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